Throughout his battle with cancer, Gus Johansson has looked to his favorite player, Seahawks receiver DK Metcalf, for inspiration.
For Metcalf, the feeling has been mutual ever since he learned about the 12-year-old from Salt Lake City who is battling acute myeloid leukemia.
Gus' emotional reaction to the visit from Blitz and to Metcalf's video and jersey serve as a poignant reminder of how much players and teams can mean to their fans; Metcalf's reaction to seeing Gus overwhelmed by his emotion shows how much that connection can go both ways, even between people who have yet to meet in person.
"Just as I'm an inspiration to him, seeing that video, he's an inspiration to me," Metcalf said. "I've never met Gus, but he acts like he knows me, so it's a big deal somebody cares that much about me who doesn't know me. It makes me want to meet him one day to tell him thank you for his love and support."
Johansson was first diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in August of 2021, and has since battled through numerous highs and lows. Last week, on an Instagram account dedicated to updating his status, Gus' mom shared that Gus is beginning the process of receiving a bone marrow transplant from his older brother, Milo.
Of the visit from Blitz and video from Metcalf, she wrote, "They could not have made this Seahawk fan any happier. He was on cloud nine!! I am so grateful for amazing people that use their celebrity to make the world a little better, and make someone's life a little brighter. We can't wait until August is healthy enough to cheer his @seahawks on in person."
Gus is fighting a battle much bigger than a football game, but he will continue on in part inspired by Metcalf's play on Sundays. That's not a responsibility Metcalf takes lightly.
"We know what we signed up for—we're not doing it for just ourselves," Metcalf said. "We all have family and friends and people all over the world that we inspire, so that's just another reason I play this game."
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